Complementary medicines users more health conscious

10 February 2014

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10 February 2014 - The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) has welcomed a newly published review in Nutrition Journal which shows that people who regularly take dietary supplements are more health conscious and have better eating habits.1
The authors, who examined the data from 20 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, found that dietary supplement users in the United States are more likely than non-users to adopt a number of positive health-related habits such as consuming healthier diets, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy body weight and avoiding tobacco products.1
The authors from the Washington-based Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) commented that the review also indicated that Americans who take dietary supplements are focused on wellness for the long term.

According to CRN Vice President Dr Duffy MacKay: "Dietary supplement users typically make healthful habits part of each day, and many stick with their supplement regimen for years. Their supplement use doesn't appear to be something trendy, but more of a planned strategy they maintain for the long haul."

Steve Scarff, ASMI Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Director, commented that CRN's research findings are very much in line with Australian research on the use and needs of complementary medicines users.

"In Australia, we are seeing a more discerning, informed and engaged consumer who increasingly considers complementary medicines as part of an approach focussed on personal health and wellbeing, and as another way to help them meet their health goals.
"Like this new research from the States, Australian research indicates that complementary medicines users exhibit healthier lifestyles; they exercise more, they smoke less and they generally have better diets2," said Steve Scarff.

Mr Scarff added that in many ways, Australian consumers have been leading the way towards greater self care through the use of complementary medicines, with two-thirds of Australians using vitamins, minerals and supplements regularly to prevent illness, improve health and wellbeing and fill nutritional gaps in their diets.
Significantly, 42 per cent of Australians take complementary medicines to address national priority health conditions.2

Consumers are encouraged to talk to a qualified healthcare professional who can provide advice on nutritional needs and the appropriate use of complementary medicines. As with all medications, it is important that consumers follow the label instructions on the pack and consult with a qualified healthcare professional if they have any questions or concerns.

About ASMI: The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) is the peak body representing sponsors of non-prescription medicines - over-the-counter (OTC) and complementary medicines. Its members make up 85 per cent of the $4bn self care market. Membership totals 60 companies and ASMI members employ approximately 17,000 people with exports estimated at $600 million annually. ASMI's mission is to promote better health through responsible self care. This means ensuring that safe and effective self care products are readily available to all Australians at a reasonable cost. ASMI works to encourage responsible use by consumers and an increasing role for cost-effective self-medication products as part of the broad national health strategy.

1. Health habits and other characteristics of dietary supplement users: A review. Nutrition Journal 2014, 13:14.
2. Australian Bureau of Statistics., Australian Social Trends; Article: Complementary therapies., Australian Bureau of Statistics., Editor 2008, Commonwealth Government: Canberra.

For more information or to arrange a media interview, please contact:
Michelle Sollitt-Davis
PR Manager, Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI)
M:0422 084 951 E: